The original Masonic Building was built in 1890 and was home to the Marquette Opera House for many years. The Masonic organizations leased office space until they purchased the building in 1927.
In the early morning hours of January 25, 1938, a fire broke out which completely destroyed the Masonic Temple and all of its contents. Firemen struggled for six hours to put out the fire while battling the worst blizzard to hit the area in 65 years. Damage estimates ran as high as $500,000.00. Demolition of old walls and foundations and the clearing away of debris began on August 29, 1938.
The new building was dedicated in September 1939 and throughout its 74 year history, the Masonic Building has been a landlord to Montgomery Ward, Woolworth's, Ben Franklin, and Northern Stationers.
The Masonic Association who owns and operates the building, realized that two store fronts compromised of more than 60,000 square feet was no longer practical in light of the changing downtown landscape. The renovation was not just about updating a beautiful old building, but investing in the future growth and success of downtown Marquette as well.
We have been a part of this city's history for more than 100 years and we plan to be here for several hundred more. The renovation involved transforming the building's two lower floors into 30 separate retail and office spaces.
A long-awaited feature was the installation of a passenger elevator that connects 240 parking spaces (public ramp) to Washington Street.
Masonic Organizational History
Marquette Lodge #101 - Chartered January 23, 1858
Ahmed Shrine, AAONMS - Chartered July 23, 1894
Scottish Rite - Francis M. Moore Consistory - Chartered 1913